If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I follow a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet.
You also know that I follow the advice of Dr John McDougall, who recommends the exact same diet - centering mostly on healthy starches for the majority of your calories.
I do this for my health and the health of my family.
But yet I call myself a Brand New Vegan. Is there a difference?
Sadly - there is. You can be Vegan - but not necessarily whole food plant-based.
Chips, french fries, and Boca Burgers can be considered Vegan - even plant based - but they're not exactly whole foods. They're just processed Vegan junk foods that are full of unhealthy oils, preservatives, and chemicals.
In other words - not exactly healthy.
I am often reminded that Veganism is strictly about the animals, not about personal health or plant based diets.
But my question is - why can't we have both? Can't I follow a Plant Based Diet AND be Vegan? Why does it have to be one way, or the other?
What's wrong with being a Plant Based Vegan?
What is a Vegan?
Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. From 'junk food vegans' to raw food vegans, and everything in between, there's a version of veganism to suit everyone. Yet one thing we all have in common is a plant-based diet. - The Vegan Society
A Plant Based Diet with a version of veganism to suit everyone.
To me this says we are ALL following a plant based diet. True - some of the foods we eat are more processed than others but still basically plant based. Which is why I make the distinction of eating mostly Whole Foods. I try to avoid as many processed foods as I can, even if they are plant based or vegan.
So then why all the bickering and finger pointing?
For the Animals
I get that the majority of our meats come from factory farms and that those poor suffering animals are treated horrible. Factory farms should be outlawed. No living creature should have to be tortured their entire lives just to satisfy one's craving for cheese or bacon.
American's ate over 1.25 BILLION chicken wings during the Super Bowl last year.
I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that. 1 BILLION animals - just for a few quick bites to satisfy a craving.
Ethical Vegans - believe me, I get it. And I support your cause completely.
For the Planet
And I support saving Planet Earth.
We're doing some major damage right now - trying to raise enough animals to satisfy all those fast food cravings.
Overfishing our oceans
Polluting our rivers and streams
Antibiotic resistant bugs and viruses
We've got to stop. NOW!
Before there's nothing left for our kids or grandkids.
For Your Health
But let's be honest here - your health matters too!
Or it should, which is why I follow a whole foods, plant based diet.
We all know that you can be Vegan and eat junk food every day - but how healthy is that? Not very. Processed food is still junk food whether it's vegan or not. And there can be a lot of oil in processed vegan foods, which is definitely NOT healthy for you, especially your arteries.
If we could just put our health as high of a priority as the animals - we could do so much more for the cause. That's all I'm saying.
Think about it.
Vegans are only 5% of the population - and half of those are vegetarian.
That leaves 95% of the people that we can have an impact on. 95% of the people who are eating whatever fast food, junk food, processed foods, meats, cheeses, fish, dairy they can get their hands on.
And how many of them are sick, fat, or obese? A lot of them.
Think of the impact we would have, for the animals, the planet, AND the people, if we just helped a few people begin a healthy plant based diet.
My point is - the healthier you are, the more vibrant you are, the more you feel and look absolutely amazing every single day.....the more people are going to take notice and ask you what you are doing.
They may not come out and say it, but 95% of the population want some of that.
THEN we can share our story, help someone become healthier, and save even more animals.
Healthy Vegans, saving lives, saving animals, healing our planet.
Plant Based Vegans
It's not just about the diet, and it's not just about the lifestyle. It should be both.
Working together, all of us, Vegetarians, Vegans, WFPB, and McDougallers alike - we can make a major impact. We can save the animals, we can save the planet, and we can save lives.
That's what I'm talking about.